MailChimp (Guest Post)


The original article referenced in this post is no longer available.  In the article, Steve Raquel recommended using MailChimp to send eMails to your partners. Here’s some take-aways:

  • MailChimp automatically takes care of your eMail list updates, bounced eMails, and unsubscribers.
  • You can design signup forms with your blog’s colors and then embed them into your blog.
  • MailChimp provides professional fonts and color palettes to customize your eMail newsletters.
  • You can also use an RSS-feed eMail to alert your blog followers to new posts (“immediately,” weekly, monthly… you decide).
  • After you send your eMails through MailChimp, you will have a report of how many people opened your eMail and clicked on your links.
  • MailChimp offers a large variety of help such as chats, videos, tutorials, and webinars.
  • MailChimp is free for a mailing list up to 2,000 … and there’s more features!

If you’re interested in starting, then hop on over to Getting Started with MailChimp 101.

Are you using MailChimp, Constant Contact, Send Personally, or some other program to manage your eMail lists?  What has been your experience with these programs?

Steve Raquel is an online social media consultant who helps individuals and businesses navigate and succeed in leveraging social media through his company, IOVMedia.  He and his wife continue to be active in Campus Crusade for Christ ever since their college days at the University of Illinois.

17 thoughts on “MailChimp (Guest Post)

  1. I have used MailChimp for my last two newsletters– I love it, but it appears that only about 1/2 of my mailing list actually gets/reads the newsletter. SPAM filters are often the culprit and it may be that many of subscribers just don’t really care about my wonderful eNewsletters.

    I really like the data that MailChimp provides — who reads (opens) the newsletter. The mail list is easy to update. I am seriously considering going back to Outlook Mail Merge for maybe every other eNewsletter.

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      1. I export TntMPD data to a CSV file then import into MailChimp — works great, but limits me to one email address per person. Not a big deal for most folks. I can go back and add a second email address but requires extra manual work.

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    1. Ken,

      Someone just told me that MailChimp records clicks on links and photos, so if your donors are reading from a Preview pane, for instance, you wouldn’t know that they had read your letter.

      I’m thinking when I start using MailChimp for email campaigns that I’m going to put in at least one link.

      Do you think this could be part of the problem for you?

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    1. I am going to go back an take another look at Send Personally. The problem I had before was with the first name field not being populated when I synced TntMPD to Outlook.

      The cost is only one-time and reasonable. I love the stats from MailChimp, but I am concerned that many folks miss my eNewsletter due to strong SPAM filters. Send Personally avoids the appearance of SPAM.

      I am still looking for the perfect eNewsletter software.

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  2. I have started using mailchimp and love it.

    The analytics are the coolest part for me. I’ve learned that 40% of people open my communication. (I think that’s actually good for a mass mailing).

    Soon I want to experiment with the A/B subject line feature and providing links to videos.

    Some receipients even took the opportunity to update their email address in a self-serve fashion saving me work.

    I highly recommend MailChimp.

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      1. When you import into MailChimp is has a check box near the bottom of the screen that says “Auto-update my existing list (takes longer) ” This works, I always check this box.

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      2. Yes, I also use TntMPD.

        My plan is to use MailChimp as my authoritative mailing list manager. If people update their profiles, I will manually make changes to TntMPD. I’m only storing First Name, Last Name and Email in MailChimp.

        So in essence, this is a manual process but well worth it, because of the benefits MailChimp brings.

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        1. I’m thinking of starting MailChimp, but several couples that currently receive our eMailings get their own eNewsletter from us. So, I’m assuming I would eventually end up with two accounts in MailChimp for the one contact in TntMPD. I think this should be fine to maintain between the two programs after the initial switchover.

          I haven’t done this yet because I imagine it will take a bit of time and good communication so our team knows what’s happening.

          I’m also looking forward to the RSS feed feature and hope that our donors and friends will use MailChimp to follow my blogs. Right now I almost use a shotgun approach to send links to everybody. It would be reassuring to see the stats of who’s reading my posts.

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          1. In MailChimp, every email address is a unique “Profile”.

            For couples, if there was only one email address, then I put, “Jim and Sally” in the first name field in mailchimp, so the personalization is for the couple.

            If I have two emails on record for them, than they each get their own personal mailing.

            I didn’t find it necessary to notify people that I was changing my mail service.

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    1. No, you can NOT send an attachment with MailChimp. The suggested work-around is to include a link to your attachment. MailChimp would then provide data on who clicked on the link to your URL hosting the attachment.

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  3. I started using Benchmark for my monthly E-Letter to about 450 email addresses and have found, like others, that about half opened the message. I have discovered also that junk mail filters have blocked the E-Letter for some and changed HTML format to text, making it look like a terrible mess. (At least there’s a link at the top of the message allowing the reader to read the message online in the HTML format if this happens.) I plan to send a message to all on my list before the next issue, asking them to put the email address Benchmark uses in their contact list so their email programs won’t send it to their junk folder. I expect, however, that only a few people will actually do this and that I can expect this phenomenon to continue. If anyone knows how to fix this problem in an easier way, please let me know.

    Benchmark costs me less than $10 a month for up to messages sent to 1000 people or fewer a month. They discount non-profit organizations by ten percent. I like the templates they provide and there are many.

    I have found another good use for Benchmark (and this would apply to Mail Chimp and similar services) and that is in sending out notices to small groups. When I plan a meeting of one of my teams, I use Benchmark to email the message. Then I know quickly who has read the message and who hasn’t and can follow-up with a repeat if necessary. This has saved me some time and helped me know who seems not to be interested.

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    1. Hello, Wayne,

      Thanks for letting us know what you think of Benchmark. I’m a newbie with MailChimp so I don’t know what to say about the messy-looking text messages except that I believe MailChimp allows you to edit the look of the text message so it’s not so garbled looking. I do want to do that, but it’s a little lower on my to-do list at the moment.

      I’ve tried the “emailing to a group idea” and like the templates that MailChimp offers. Here’s a sample of one I’m creating, but haven’t finished yet: http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?u=dfa056c37cb1c1c660a53fe95&id=2e88b22087&e=

      Like

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